Fizik has been known for a long time as an innovator in saddle design, so it’s surprising that it’s taken so long for the company to enter the short saddle market, and this Argo Vento R3 is designed with racers in mind (Fizik also offers the Tempo aimed more at endurance/sportive riders)
The Vento‘s length is short at 265mm and it’s available in two widths: 140mm or 150mm (my test saddle is 150mm).
The shortened shape still retains a fairly curved design front to back that, like its full size Aliante, holds you in position very well. The swooping shape is complemented by a nose-to-tail channel to relieve pressure to your more sensitive areas.
On the bike, the Vento is a wonderfully comfortable place to spend a few hours. The shaping is spot on, offering lots of support while the carbon-infused nylon base and generous padding offer plenty of bounce. It’s rare to find the combination of support and compliance the Vento offers.
Although the idea of short saddles is that you are settled in one position, the Vento has a dropped nose, so during those moments when you’re on the flat and really pushing hard you can shift your weight forward and really put the effort in; in old-school parlance ‘to get up on the rivet’, and very welcome that is too.
In fact, the Vento seems to offer a different feel from front to back. If you’re seated correctly you get a real buoyant feel from the saddle, but get up on the nose and it’s firmer, perhaps even more stable feeling. It’s a rare thing for a racy saddle to offer both plush comfort and a solid platform to put the power down.
This being the R3 model and not the premium, flagship all-dancing carbon model that is the R1 (which retails at £50 more) it has K:IUM rails, that’s alloy to you and me. It’s light at 229g, although the R1 is a scant 179g.
With the Argo Vento, Fizik may well have arrived late to the short saddle party but it has done its homework and made another very fine saddle. It’s comfortable yet supportive and although the ‘bounce’ in the padding is a little odd at first, it makes for a saddle you can ride all day without issue.